This was a classic 100 meters! Deji Ogeyingbo gives us the chills and thrills of the Men’s 100 meters as the new African record holder battles the defending Commonwealth Games champion!
Redemption for Ferdinand Omanyala as the Kenyan strikes 100m Commonwealth Gold in Birmingham
After suffering the ignominy of not making the final of the men’s 100m at the World Championships in Oregon, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala finally made amends for his below-par performance as he streaked to victory to claim the Commonwealth 100m Gold inside the Alexandra stadium in Birmingham.
The circumstances of his late arrival in Oregon last month were due to factors beyond his control as his visa issues made him arrive a few hours before the start of his heat. The African Record holder made sure the mistake did not repeat itself heading into Birmingham as he got in almost a week to the start of his event.
This time, the well-rested Omanyala went through the motions in the heats and semis, clocking 10.07s and 10.02s for the win to put him in good stead ahead of the final. Drawn in lane 3, adjacent to the defending Commonwealth Games Champion, Akani Simbine of South Africa, it was a reprise of the African Championship final in Mauritius, which went to the wire.
Omanyala got off to a blistering start leaving Simbine with much to do as they both got off the drive phase. Simbine then began reeling in big, bulky Kenyan, but the gap seemed to widen when he tried to pull level.
With about 20m to go, Omanyala continued pumping those legs, and as he crossed the finish line, he let out a big smile with his arms spread out. 10.02s was the time on the clock. The winning time did not necessarily pull up trees, but the African Champion will not complain. It was redemption.
So much has been said of his exploits in the last year. He became the African Record holder when he ran 9.77s in his hometown Nairobi last September, claimed the African title in June, and now he’s the Commonwealth Champion.
In the span of a year, Omanyala has taken all the titles of Simbine, who won Silver with 10.13s from Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon, taking Bronze with 10.14s.